Thursday, 20 September 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

A Targa Rally like no other coming to Mercury Bay

A Targa Rally like no other coming to Mercury Bay

The Targa Rally will be returning to Mercury Bay on 16 and 17 May. This year is the 20th anniversary of the first Targa event in New Zealand and to celebrate it, two rallies will be held, Targa New Zealand in the South Island and Targa North Island. The North island event is a combination of two previous Targa events, Targa Bambina and Targa Rotorua. Mercury Bay used to be a regular feature on the Targa Bambina Rally.

The Targa North Island will depart Auckland on Friday, 16 May and will bring some spectacular racing during two special stages to the wider Mercury Bay area. Special Stage 7 will cover a distance of 10.54km on State Highway 25 across the Whangapoua Hill on 16 May. The stage will start
at 3:35pm at the Coromandel Town side of the hill and will finish at Te Rerenga. The road will be closed from 2:30pm to 5:30pm.

Special Stage 8 is something everyone involved in the Targa Rally has been waiting for. The stage, also on State Highway 25, will take place on Saturday 17 May from Whenuakite to Tairua across the Tairua Hill, a distance of 12.17km. It’s the first time this road will form part of the Targa Rally and is, according to many of the participants in the event, one of the most challenging tarmac roads in New Zealand. Many of them have dreamed of it one day being a Targa stage. The road will be closed from 6:45am to 10:00am, with the first cars setting off at 8:00am.

Rally director, Peter Martin said about the Tairua Hill special stage, “This is a real coup for us and a vindication both of our systems and the work we have put in with local residents, Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). The key has been to minimise the disruption and after monitoring our [last three] events here, NZTA has agreed to the closure this year.” According to the rally organisers, the best viewing of both stages will be had by simply walking into the special stage areas from both ends. Whitianga will host the rally’s overnight stop on 16 May. Competitors’ cars will be serviced at the Mercury Bay Multi-Sport Park in Whitianga upon their arrival in town, whereafter they will be parked overnight at the Lee Street car park.

Participants in the Targa Tour, a non-competitive “tag-along” event for owners of late model exotic or older classic cars, will arrive at the Lee Street car park from 4:30pm for a charity car wash. They will be joined by the rally competitors as soon as the servicing of their cars at the Multi-Sport Park are finished. Members of the public are welcome to check out the cars and talk to competitors both at the Multi-Sport Park and the Lee Street car park. A third special stage of the rally on the Coromandel will be held at Whiritoa later on Saturday, 17 May. The rally will finish in Rotorua on
Sunday, 18 May.
 

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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.